Responding to the introduction of the America Invents Act, Maine Congressman Mike Michaud just released the following statement:
“I am disappointed and concerned with the ‘America Invents Act.’ Patent reform should focus on addressing the Patent and Trademark Office’s backlog, first, and do no harm, second. As introduced, this bill would be bad for American inventors, bad for American manufacturers, and bad for our economy.
“The legislation includes two particularly troubling provisions. It would create a new post-grant review process, and it makes changes to the existing inter partes reexamination process. Both of these provisions allow infringers to challenge patents more easily. In addition, the bill does not include all necessary safeguards to prevent strategic attacks of patents that are often used to the disadvantage of American inventors. At minimum, the House should consider the safeguards included in the recently passed Senate counterpart to this legislation.
“The first to file provisions in the bill, with the addition of prior user rights language, is particularly problematic for universities, tech startups, and small inventors. I urge the committee to take testimony and input from a broad range of stakeholders so that we can find a better way forward on this important issue.
“I opposed patent reform legislation in 2007 because it contained similar harmful provisions, and I will oppose the ‘America Invents Act’ unless the concerns I’ve raised are addressed.
“As we work to get our economy back on track, we simply cannot afford to reform our patent system in a way that will undermine job creation, U.S. innovation, and our manufacturing sector.”